Basic English Grammar 101 – Subjects

English grammar can be a very difficult. I know it was for me when I was in school and it definitely is for my students. So, lets start from the beginning. What are the most basic parts of English grammar? Well, today we are going to focus on one basic part, the Subject.



The subject is the part of sentence that is the topic or focus of the sentence. It is the part of the sentence that is doing or performing something. Usually the subject is a noun (person, place, or thing). By asking the question “who or what does something?”, we can easily identify the subject. Let’s look at a few examples.


Jack eats chocolate.             jack eats chocolate

In the above sentence “Jack” is the subject. He is the subject because he is the topic or focus of the sentence and he does something. He eats chocolate. Jack is also a noun. He is a person. Identifying the nouns in a sentence will help you recognize the subject.



In English grammar the subject usually comes before the verb. In our example sentence, “Jack” comes before “eats”. So, the placement of the noun in the sentence also indicates who or what is the subject.


Let’s look at an example.


The colorful tree is beautiful.


In the above sentence, “colorful tree” is the subject. It comes before the verb “is” which is a “to be” verb.


Complete vs Simple Subject

The above example is a little more complex. The noun includes an adjective which is a word that describes the noun. the adjective and noun together are called the complete subject. The complete subject includes the words that describe the subject. If we take away the describing word “colorful”, the simple subject “tree” is found.



Every sentence in English has a subject. When you are listening or reading English, you will need to be able to recognize the subject to follow the conversation or story. When you are speaking or writing, your listener or reader will need to know the subject to understand you well. The subject is a very important part of English!



Subjects are a very basic and important part of English. It is the focus or topic of a sentence and is usually a noun.  It is important to recognize the subject when listening and reading and its important to establish a subject when speaking or writing.


For more examples on identifying the subject of a sentence and for subject exercises, please visit my facebook page.


Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to comment below.


Happy Learning,

Justin, Passport English

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